This time tomorrow, I'll be getting ready to fly off to The Gambia for ten days. Most folk will think it's a wee holiday, and yes, there will be sunshine, a chance to slow down, and all the rest, but there is serious stuff to be done and dusted while I am there.
For those of you who don't know, we run a Nursery School in London Corner, the poorest part of the sprawling town of Serrekunda, which is comprised of crippling poverty, corrugate, and broken dreams. We educate 90 children and feed them daily due to the generosity of people from Dumbarton, Helensburgh and beyond.
January is the usual time to negotiate rents, pay rises, bonuses, and teaching materials/resources, and my ten days will be full of meetings, lots of head shaking, and a few pleas for a taxi for Christmas! This year, too, will begin a hunt for alternative accommodation, as the building we operate from is in a pretty critical condition.
I will try to blog a diary when I'm there, depending on whether I get electricity or a WiFi connection that works properly!
It's with some sadness that I go. One of St Augustine's greatest stalwarts, May Thomson, died yesterday, and I will miss doing her funeral. Indeed, May, in her early eighties came with us to The Gambia to see the school, and managed to do a spot of unintended topless sunbathing! They still ask about the "Lady with the Laugh!"
Next Sunday, I'll be worshipping in St Andrew's Lamin, which is a three hour marathon, but worth every minute!